CSU to host Education Summit Town Hall

Online Vote to Begin Next Week

Quebec’s summit on higher education is only weeks away, and the Concordia Student Union’s consultation campaign is now kicking into high gear. Photo Erin Sparks

Quebec’s summit on higher education is only weeks away, and the Concordia Student Union’s consultation campaign is now kicking into high gear.

By way of a town hall meeting and a web voting system, the CSU hopes to gather student opinion on higher education matters before it meets with the Federation Etudiant Universitaire du Quebec’s congress on Feb. 6-8.

The FEUQ will represent the CSU—along with 14 other Quebec student associations—at Quebec’s summit on higher education on Feb. 25 and 26.

Since December, VP External Simon-Pierre Lauzon has been preparing a document outlining the CSU’s principles for the summit, and asking students what those principles should be.

“The idea is that I should not be deciding for everyone, I should leave students to decide their own priorities,” said Lauzon.

With the help of a poster campaign, the CSU has encouraged students to submit propositions for the document, either as individuals or through their student associations.

Next week, students will be able to vote online to have the propositions included or omitted from the final document.

Propositions will be discussed at a Town Hall meeting on Monday at 4:00 pm. The event’s Facebook page describes it as a chance for the student body to “better formulate our position collectively.”

“The purpose of the town hall is really to give everyone the chance to submit propositions in person, or at least the chance to talk about things that should be made into forms of propositions,” Lauzon said.

He noted that many propositions he received to-date centered around the issues raised during last spring’s student movement.

“The students that were mobilized for the strike, for the tuition freeze, those are the students that were most aware, and most willing to mobilize for the summit,” Lauzon explained, adding that he would have a clearer picture of all student propositions by Monday, the deadline for ConU student associations to outline their positions.

For Lauzon, the consultation is also chance to see how students feel about FEUQ policy.

The CSU, he said, will be working hand-in-hand with the FEUQ throughout the summit, so it’s important to gauge Concordia student’s level of support.

In Lauzon’s opinion, the most interesting of the FEUQ propositions concerns the Commission d’évaluation des universités du Québec, a proposed independent body that would be tasked with overseeing university management.

Lauzon explained that the CEUQ would be “made up of multiple actors of different facets of the university […] kind of like CREPUQ, [but] the idea of the FEUQ is to really diversify the composition of that commission.”

The CSU’s Summit Town Hall Meeting will be held on Monday, January 28 at 4:00 p.m. in the Hall Building’s 7th-floor lounge. According to Lauzon, the online voting site will be up Monday at the latest.